Weekly digest for 16 April 2021


This week’s main story is a brief follow-up on Uganda from last week. In last week’s digest, the main story was that the OTT tax of 200 shilling per day is going to be replaced by a new data tax of 12% in the form of an excise duty. However, it is unclear how the proposed new tax would be implemented. Uganda already has a 12% excise duty on airtime that was introduced in the Excise Duty Amendment Act of 2018.  In that Act, internet data was excluded but practically speaking, it is possible to pay 12% excise duty on data if the consumer purchases airtime and then converts that airtime to data. With the introduction of the new data excise duty, it would now be possible to pay 24% excise duties on mobile services if the consumer purchases airtime and then converts that airtime to internet data. Uganda has already seen that additional taxes result in fewer mobile subscribers and this tax seems designed to achieve the same outcome: more expensive services to fewer Ugandans.

  • Senegal: the regulator, ARTP, has issued a formal notice to Orange and Free that they must comply with MNP obligations in Senegal. Sanctions will be imposed if the operators do not comply.
  • Nigeria: SIM card sales have finally resumed in Nigeria. The new SIM card registration policy took over a year to be properly implemented. Customers can purchase as SIM card as long as it is linked to the National Identification Number.
  • South Africa: A new undersea 3200km cable connecting South Africa, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar is now live.